Edward Cheserek crossing the finish line in 15:20.9 for a new course record.
King’s Park, N.Y. _ Edward Cheserek was instructed by his coach Marty Hannon to ease himself into his race at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals at Sunken Meadow Park on Long Island Saturday. When the time came to push, the results were historic.
Cheserek ran 15:20.9, breaking John Gregorek’s course record of 15:32.3 set in 1977. After running abreast of the lead pack through a first mile in the 4:50s, the St. Benedict’s (N.J.) junior let loose.
“The first mile was kind of slow,” said Cheserek. “Once I got there, I tried to go.”
Cheserek, looking relaxed, cracked open a 10-second lead on a pack of seven runners that included Piscataway (N.J) senior Tim Ball, Dustin Wilson of Chesnut Hill (Pa.) and Connecticut state champion Connor Rog.
While practicing on the course Friday, Cheserek, who compared the lolling hills at Sunken Meadow to the training grounds in his native Kenya, sensed that the record might fall.
“I said, let me go one more loop and it comes to me- maybe I’ll get this record,” said Cheserek.
Cheserek let it all go on the descent from Cardiac Hill, running alone. As he came firing around the last turn, with less than 200 meters to go, it was clear that the record was his.
“He leaves me speechless,” said Hannon.
Cheserek recognizes the inherent pressure, and the high stakes of the Dec. 10 Foot Locker Championship in San Diego. Still, like most else in this record-breaking season, he is taking it as it comes.
“I’m just going out there, chilling out a bit, and going to run the course,” said Cheserek.